30 April 2020

Are you covered for bike theft?

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It might not be making headlines, but bike theft is all too common in Québec. There are a few things you can do to protect your bike against theft and all kinds of other damage. Plus, home insurance will provide compensation in the event of a problem. Read on to learn more.

How to protect your bike against theft

Unfortunately, choosing to travel by bike doesn’t make you immune to theft. You’ll be doing your part for the environment, but you’ll also need to take steps to avoid unpleasant surprises. Because bikes are less expensive than cars, some people don’t bother to take measures to protect them.

But it’s very important to take the necessary steps as soon as you buy a bike. Having a good insurance policy will protect you even if your bike is stolen despite your best efforts.

How to prevent your bike from being stolen

Do the same things to protect your bike as you would to protect your car, just on a smaller scale. And don’t worry, there’s no need to spend a ton of money. All you need to remember is that it’s easy to steal a bike.

Never leave your bike in your driveway overnight and, like your car, don’t leave it out of your sight in unlit areas. Always store it in your house or apartment or in the garage when you return home and don’t plan to go out again. Likewise, if you’re visiting a friend, bring your bike inside and explain that you’re worried about theft.

If you don’t have a garage, or enough room to store your bike, make sure to use an effective lock. Forget about the cheap U-lock that came with your bike. They’re too easy to break. Opt instead for a combination of several locks.

If stealing your bike is a time-consuming proposition, thieves will give up out of fear of being caught. Your goal is to deter them. You should also get into the habit of removing accessories and detachable parts when leaving your bike unattended. One of the best tricks is removing the seat. It will help reduce the risk of theft.

But what can you do if your bike gets robbed despite your best efforts?

Bike theft coverage

The measures listed above will greatly increase your chances of deterring thieves and keeping your bike safe. But don’t let that stop you from getting coverage. If your bike does get stolen, you’ll be glad to have solid home insurance that includes compensation for bike theft.

Coverage scope

Home insurance covers your bike against theft, no matter where it occurs. Not just at home, but wherever your bike may be when it’s stolen.*

And home insurance isn’t limited to your bike, either. If you’ve purchased a basket to go on your bike and your multiple locks failed to deter thieves, your home insurance will provide compensation. You’re covered for the bike and any accessories attached to it.

Additional coverage

Theft isn’t the only risk for bikes. The rate of bike theft is high in Quebec, but if you take the precautions mentioned above, you’ll minimize the risks. So you might start thinking about the other potential risks, like accidents.

What to do if you have an accident with a car

Collisions with motor vehicles are always a risk when riding your bike. If you’re hit by a car, a motorcycle, or even a trailer in Québec or anywhere else in Canada, it’s considered an automobile accident.

When you’re involved in an automobile accident on a bike, you can file a claim with SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) for any physical injuries. But what about damage to your bike? If you’re involved in an automobile accident while parked or in traffic you can also file a claim for damages with SAAQ.

SAAQ will cover the cost of clothing and certain wearable items that are damaged in road accidents, such as glasses and prostheses. But SAAQ will not cover damage to your bike. So you must submit a claim to your home insurer for review. In order for SAAQ and your insurer to handle your claim, you must file a joint report with the motorist. If you are unable to file a joint report, or if the motorist refuses, you can call the police to file an accident report.

What to do for other accidents

Not all bike accidents involve motor vehicles. Even if you’re careful, other mishaps can occur.

Potential risks

Simple mistakes can cause crashes and damage your property:

  • While riding
  • While parked
  • At home
  • During a move

You could hit a pedestrian, an object on the road, or even another cyclist. If you hit a car, you will not be eligible under your car insurance if the car is parked or driverless. In such cases, your home insurance will cover your bike repairs.

Your bike could also sustain damage while you’re moving houses, but you can take out coverage beforehand. Getting a head start and being efficient on moving day c could have an impact in the event of damage. Take the time to make an inventory of your belongings. It will be useful when discussing your bike with your insurer. Hire professionals to transport and store your belongings.

Which coverage is right for you?

Comprehensive home insurance will cover you for most damage. To prevent your bike from being damaged while moving, it must be properly stored in the truck. Packing your moving truck like a pro will help you reduce the risks.

If you don’t want to go for comprehensive home insurance, you could choose basic coverage and handpick the risks you want covered for your bike. You will be able to review the various types of coverage when you contact your insurer. This option will give you all the coverage you need at the lowest price.

Your bike is valuable, so make sure to take all necessary precautions to protect it from theft and other risks. Home insurance can beef up your coverage and ensure you receive compensation when you need it.

*Certain restrictions may apply.